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Young people grow up in a rapidly and vast changing ‘risk society’. They need a safe environment in which they can develop (cross-curricular) competences to get grip of their own ‘choice biography’. Professionals working with youth are acting on their limits. They are in need of a new approach, a ‘strength perspective’ that comes along with new competences connecting to a fresh paradigm that promotes direct participation of youngsters and lays emphasis on empowerment.E-TFU wants to connect to that need by introducing a Train The Trainer program (TT) that provides inspiring trainer guidelines, a handle for competence development and a toolkit for action research as instrument for evaluation and development. E-TFU introduces professionals from different background, working in different situations in the added value of new media and arts to empower youth. E-TFU gives young people a voice and encourages professionals through the TT to do the same. The creative potential of young people as citizens with ‘buzzing ideas’ can turn them into stakeholders of projects and initiatives. When offered the right support they shape their world to their own ideas and dreams. Why action research? AR is an instrument for evaluation, change and improvement at itself. We want to show haw AR can be easily implemented and we provide professionals with a toolkit to do so.And why arts? Arts are an ideal ‘tool’ for self-actualisation and expression. Arts encourage openness and awareness. Artistic creativity has an intrinsic and transferable capacity and that is why arts offer great ‘tools’ for professionals who want to use the strength perspective in their work.Why ‘new’ media? Young people today use new media to connect in both the real and virtual world. Many youngsters are just by tinkering, developing a broad range of sophisticated new skills; they are also facing new challenges in social relationships. New media open pathways for new forms of expression and creativity. Youth’s participation in this networked world suggests new ways of thinking about how professionals could connect with the life and ambition of youngsters. E-TFU wants to introduce the ‘strength perspective’ into the Flemish context as an innovative and easy accessible TT program and has the ambition to disseminate the rationale and products of the project in different European countries.
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